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Did Former Baltimore Orioles Great Mike Flanagan Commit Suicide Because the Team Is Terrible?

Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images

The Baltimore Orioles received awful news late Wednesday night amid word that former pitcher Mike Flanagan had been found dead. Local affiliate WBAL is reporting that Flanagan was so despondent over the poor performance of the organization in recent years that it drove him to suicide.

Flanagan, the 1979 American League Cy Young Award winner, was a pivotal part of the Orioles’ 1983 World Series team, going 12-4 that season. After his career ended in 1992, Flanagan stayed in baseball as an executive. In the 2000s, he found his way back to Baltimore, holding the top baseball executive position in the organization.For Flanagan, the losing seasons were a severe change from what he’d grown used to while pitching for the franchise in the late-’70s and mid-1980s. David Brown at Yahoo! Sports said:

The Orioles, generally, were larger than life in those days. It’s hard to imagine now, but the Orioles and the Kansas City Royals were modern major league success stories. They won games, they won championships. And when they didn’t win, they got close. They were respected for their consistent competence and unwavering class.

Ex-teammates are remembering him for his calmness and sense of humor. Flanagan was 59.


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